The Manhattan Fish Market branch in Marina Square, Singapore, officially introduced one of its special flaming platters, the Masarap Platter, to a group of Filipinos on October 15.
The special platter is a mix of traditional Filipino favorites, with flaming milk fish sisig, sautéed seafood in a coconut milk sauce, braised chicken adobo, and prawn fritters.
Among those who had a first taste of the flaming platter were Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales, Philippine Ambassador to Bangladesh Ambassador Vicente Vivencio Bandillo, Philippine Commercial Counsellor Glenn T. Peñaranda, and other representatives of the Philippine Embassy.
Mr. William Lee, Brand General Manager of Manhattan Fish Market, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Ong of Prime Food Marketing Pte. Ltd., supplier of Saranggani bangus and other Philippine products in Singapore were on hand to welcome the Ambassador and his group. Members of the sports organizations FilSG and Filipino Dragons Singapore also joined the occasion.
Manhattan Fish Market is an award-winning name in the food and beverage industry.
Manhattan Fish Market dishes up halal Filipino-inspired food
Traditional Filipino food has evolved over time, drawing influences from Spanish, American, Indian and American cuisines. Dishes range from basic street food like fried spring rolls to more complex meals like lechon. Filipinos also have an undeniable love for pork as can be seen by the numerous dishes that feature various parts of the porcine anatomy.
Admittedly, I’ve never tried Filipino cuisine before. Not even Jollibee, arguably the country’s most popular export. Then there’s that other issue of halal Filipino food in Singapore, or lack thereof. It is so rare that when The Manhattan Fish Market introduced the new Masarap Flaming Platter($38.95) featuring popular Filipino treats, I know I have to try it.
In the Masarap Flaming Platter, you will discover several beloved Filipino food with a little twist. Those dishes include the Flaming Milkfish Flakes Sisig, an aquatic version of the popular pork dish cooked with onions and capsicum. This is the spiciest dish in the platter, bar none. Look out for the slivers of chilli padi that hide amongst the grilled fish that has been deboned and flaked. Our initial worry of choking on fish bones is unfounded as there isn’t any at all. If you’re a fan of crispy fish skin, you’ll love the grilled fish skin which forms as the base for this flavourful dish.
Then there’s the more familiar Braised Chicken Adobo, a sweet and savoury chicken dish that reminds me a lot of ayam masak kicap. I’m not wrong, it seems, as soy sauce is used liberally here. If you’re not a fan of the spicy, the adobo is a safe choice. It’s best to eat this as soon as the platter arrives at your table, though, as the chicken rapidly cools.
The Spicy Baked Coconut Bicol Express Seafood is a seafood medley cooked in creamy coconut sauce. Again, as its my first time trying Filipino food, I can only draw references from food I’ve eaten before. This one, in particular, is similar to Thai green curry and even lemak cili padi to some extent. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as most South east Asian cuisines are often inter related.
The last item in the platter are the Prawn Fritters, which I suspect are popular street food the likes ofgoreng pisang and apam balik. It is very tempting to compare this to Indian vadai, but the similarities end at both snacks’ use of prawns. Unlike vadai, these prawn fritters do not use lentils to form the batter. Instead, bean sprouts—lots of them—are bonded with shrimps and fried to a golden brown. The use of shrimps is also a departure from the more familar vadai which typically has one prawn pressed in the middle of the batter. I personally prefer the Filipino prawn fritters better as I’m fond of bean sprouts, especially when they’re fried.
While the Masarap Flaming Platter only offers four items, it doesn’t need to be larger than that. The dishes come atop a bed of garlic herb rice which will easily fill you up. The platter is ideal for 3 pax, so it’s best consumed with company. Overall, I find the platter palatable even though it consisted of Filipino-inspired dishes. If it’s any consolation, the dish was initially created by one of the restaurant’s Filipino chefs so there’s at least that stamp of approval from a native tongue.
Whilst Filipino food—especially halal ones—has not achieved critical mass like Chinese food, Thai food, and Japanese food, it should be celebrated whenever the opportunity arises. Adventurous tongues will have ample time to taste a slice of the Philippines as the Masarap Flaming Platter will be available at The Manhattan Fish Market till 30th November.
Disclaimer: This was part of a food tasting event.